by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
A product our department uses was having a video contest. The product is called AD Manager and it is made my ManageEngine. It’s an Active Directory tool which allows you to create/manage/run reports about Microsoft system users. We have had it for a few years now and I use it on a somewhat irregular basis.
A few weeks ago I got an email from that about a video contest called: ‘Game Changer’. Basically they wanted a short video (from one of their customers) telling how ManageEngine’s product has been a game changer. I looked at the somewhat confusing entry dates and knew I had plenty of time so I basically shelved the email for later use. During this time I was coming up with ideas on what I could do in the video. Of course I planned to make it something funny since that what we do best.
A few weeks went by and I looked at the email again. Apparently I was cutting it VERY close. I had less than two days left! I brought my camera the next day and got the guys in the office to act in it.
My original plan was to have a shot of the outside of the hospital and the camera would zoom in on me talking at the window, the next shot would be inside where I would be continuing to talk. Since I was running REALLY close on time (I was doing it on the last day) I ditched the outside shot. That is why the window is open and I am talking and turning away from the window. The open window also screwed up the lighting so I had to put the camera on manual and that is why it is blurry in places.
I had two of the guys put on wigs and spout the virtues of the product intercut with me being absently abusive to my staff while spouting more great stuff about the product. It was quick and dirty but it seemed to work fine. Everyone seemed to like it.
That night I did some quick editing and submitted it. After I did this I went back to their website and the email that I initially got and started worrying. The dates for submitting videos were all weird looking when you started to work them out in your mind. The email said: Entries Submitted between August 16, 2011 to August 31, 2011. Now take a good look at that and tell me what you think it means…
At first glance it means that I can submit my entry between 8/16 and 8/31. If you read it a little more slowly it appears to say that you can submit starting 8/16 and 8/30 because it says ‘to’. If you go to the website it only aggravates things because it says: All entries should be submitted ‘before’ August 31, 2011. Once again this made me think that the last date was 8/30. I made and submitted the video on the 31st so I didn’t know if it was going to be accepted or not.
To add more fun to the whole darn thing there were only 3 other entries for the contest. I thought that if I didn’t get messed up by the submit date that I had a pretty good chance. The other 3 videos were video actually produced by the company. They set up a camera at a convention and just had people come sit and talk about the product. No effort what so ever. Surely I would win… right?
Well… I submitted the finished video about seven or eight that night and then posted a message on their Facebook page (which was suggested to increase your chances of winning). I got no replies (or even likes) so I was getting nervous. I waited all weekend and still nothing, no comments, no emails, nothing.
Finally I got a response on the 6th (5 days after the submittal). They said…. I won! Yippie. I guess all my worrying was for nothing. I won a $200 Amazon gift card. I had been shopping that whole week before in anticipation of winning. I also won 2 passes to some user conference they are having in October. The guy really wants me to go and said that there is some ‘gifts’ that is so much better the Amazon gift card… I dunno. I might have to go.